(Academy, Manchester, Tuesday 5th April)
There were some people that night who came to the pop concert thinking they would be watching a band called Kyuss.
They were wrong.
Sorry, but this ain’t Kyuss. Not even close.
Sure, some will say that bands alter their line-ups all the time, often to little or no discernible effect, and that it’s not really a big deal when they do. But not Kyuss. Not on my watch. Epic Logic Fail, mate.
This is like if Steve Harris left Maiden, or if Denise Post-Van Rijswijk left Vengaboys, or if Scott Stapp left Creed. I’m completely baffled, bemused and brain-damaged by the question of just who the FUCK Bruno Favery thinks he is.
Everyone knows that the core component of the rock ‘n’ roll life is an almost autistic devotion to ferreting up every single miniscule fact about a given band, and then using it to put other, lesser fans in their place. So, with that in mind, I’ve done my homework. And Josh Homme’s surname is not pronounced ‘hom.’ It is pronounced ‘hommie.’ As in ‘mommy’. As in who Bruno Favery will be crying to after I finish this epic pwn.
Hell comma, on the surface, it all sounded awesome. But then it would, wouldn’t it? If anything, as the weakest link, Bruno has to play everything note-perfect to prove he is worthy of playing in a band of actual Kyuss members. But it must never be forgotten that he fucking well isn’t an actual Kyuss member. I’d carve it into his chest with a dirk made of dogshit, if I could. Manchester Academy made him feel very welcome, to my absolute wretched disgust, so I stood at the back sneering at the fucking lot of them. The cowards.
Brant Bjork sat behind the drums like the world’s most talented King Charles Spaniel, and brought with him the impeccable groove he is best known for. His kick drum belted puffs of air out of the bass bins directly into our faces, and his ride cymbal washed across the room like rays of sunshine. Meanwhile Nick Oliveri, while conducting himself more sedately than one might have expected, still brought a bit of punkish snarl to stage right, and his backing vocals were a lovely touch. He didn’t even seem to struggle with playing the parts he didn’t write. I give him 10 pats on the head out of 10 for that.
John Garcia isn’t getting any slimmer, but he commanded the stage with a presence that was forceful and never anything less than total fucking don. And his voice has gone nowhere, even though we already knew that very well, what with him putting out a continual trickle of forgettable projects and guest appearances ever since Kyuss broke up. He snarled us through a set mainly comprising tunes from …Sky Valley with a few from …Red Sun, and the cracks filled in with bits and bobs off …Leaves Town. Personal highlights were Gardenia, Thumb, Asteroid, Supa Scoopa, and El Rodeo. Green Machine got probably the night’s biggest cheer, but notable by their absence were Demon Cleaner and Spaceship Landing.
Personally, I’d been looking forward to seeing Whitewater played, what with it being the greatest Kyuss song going, and what with me missing it at Roadburn in order to get a journalistically-frivolous second look at Karma To Burn. But tonight, predictably, almost as if it was a personal fucking slight, this is where the Awesome Sauce had to come to an end.
Favery’s guitar just had to start fucking up, didn’t it. This is your reunited fucking Kyuss right here, folks. There’s been reports up and down of this Belgian chancer getting bits of Hommie-Rhymes-With-Mommy’s sublime and inimitable guitar parts wrong. Well on this occasion, I didn’t notice any mistakes, but I guess he must have been making them, because they apparently backed up in the tubes and broke his amplifier. For Fuck’s Sake. I’m prepared to lay my life on it that Hommie-Rhymes-With-Mommy wouldn’t have made those mistakes. Know why?
“Josh Homme also has been quoted as saying he eats up to three pineapples before going on stage to give him the energy to play guitar professionally.” That’s from Wikipedia. Mate.
Did Bruno Favery eat enough pineapple? No, I think it is completely fucking apparent that he did not.
The fact of the matter is that unless Josh Homme gets on board with this ridiculous and blatant moneyspinner, I’m going to be allocating the ‘pop concerts’ column of my budget spreadsheet elsewhere. The creative core of Kyuss is, was, and always will be Josh Homme. Don’t believe me? Go check out the songwriting credits on any of Kyuss’ albums. Ignore all the other names, though.
And even though we haven’t got a fucking clue how good Favery actually is, since he’s just playing another man’s music, I’m prepared to say, with no basis whatsoever, that he isn’t fit to shine Homme’s boot with his ringpiece. And come to think of it, I’ll go you one further. I’m going to bet Homme was telling Oliveri exactly what to play, and also punishing Garcia for any rehearsal fuck ups with electric shocks. And he used to operate Bjork’s arms for him, using bits of string like a marionette, until he’d got the gist of the drum parts that Homme definitely made up by himself. And Oliveri isn’t even the real Kyuss bass player anyway, that’s Scott Reeder. The more I write, the madder I get.
All in all, a pile of fucking rubbish.